What is the role of cell division in helping the body stay healthy?
Mitosis has two main roles.
b) Growth & Repair
a) Asexual reproduction is common through mitosis, in most unicellular organisms. They duplicate, usually through binary fission, and end up with genetically identical copies of themselves. This process does not take very long; bacteria can have generation times of about 30 minutes.
This may seem efficient for the parent organisms. The more offspring you create that survive means you're more fit right? Kinda of. Because mitosis produces exact copies of parent organisms, offspring have virtually no genetic variation.
A fact to think about is that they still undergo natural selection, meaning a select few may bypass your hand sanitizer and go on to produce more resistant bacteria.
Asexual reproduction through mitosis occurs in all bacteria, some unicellular protists, and some fungi.
b) More apparent in multicellular organisms such as humans, mitosis is a great method of growing and fixing yourself up. Your body can use mitosis to replace dead cells or regenerate body parts, like tissues. This is common, but not all body cells divide forever. Your muscle and nerve cells, for example, only grow to a certain age and then dividing.
Interestingly, all multicellular organisms start their life as single celled zygote. Mitosis helps in formation of a multicellular embryo. Growth of all living organisms, barring a few, is due to increase in cell number.
The role of cell division helps the body stay healthy by creating new cells when other cells die. When cells die during chemotherapy for example its important that the body replaces those cells to survive. It also helps us reproduce by using mitosis to create a sort of half cell that becomes a whole cell when joined with a cell of the opposite sex (ie. egg and sperm)